939 Tasting Notes

75

Finished off the last of this sample last night, brewed black with a small piece of crystal sugar. I had a feeling it would make a positive contribution to the flavour, and it did. If it was reminiscent of cider before, it’s doubly so now! I doubt I’ll ever get chance to try this again, but I’ve enjoyed these two cups more than I’ve enjoyed any apple tea in a long time. Absolutely fabulous stuff!

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 45 sec

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60
drank Shamrock Tea by 52teas
939 tasting notes

A sample from KittyLovesTea! I like green tea these days, and sencha is one of my favourites. Probably because it was one of the first green teas I discovered I actually liked, after years of bagged supermarket stuff. The mint here is very subtle, but adds a nice cooling, refreshing touch to this tea. The vanilla is also subtle, but rounds the flavour out with a pleasant creaminess. The green base is a little astringent, but I may have overleafed a little. I’ve got enough for a couple more cups, so I’ll try and sort that out. Overall, though, a pleasant mint green. I don’t think I’ve actually ever tried all that many mint greens — something I’ll have to rectify in the future. Many thanks to KittyLovesTea for sharing this with me!

Preparation
175 °F / 79 °C 2 min, 30 sec

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90

A sample from KittyLovesTea! This is another one I never thought I’d have the opportunity to try, but it just goes to show that you never really know. I love Frank’s older honeybush blends — they just seem to have something about them that I miss in more recent creations. Not sure what it is exactly — I’ll have to put some more thought into that and try and work it out! Anyway, this smells pretty bland while brewing, but really comes alive to taste. I added a splash of milk to try and augment the buttery, bakey flavours, and I think it worked pretty well in that respect. I was also trying to tone down the base a bit, although possibly I didn’t need to because I’m not tasting much honeybush at all really. It’s pretty subtle, and gladly. I’m getting orange, but not cranberry so much. It just about starts to come out as it cools, but it’s almost undetectable. There’s a definite “scone” taste, though, and that’s what I was really looking for. Combined with the orange, it’s a pretty heavenly tea flavour as far as I’m concerned. I might try it without milk later on to see how that works out. I’m definitely looking forward to a second cup after a difficult week! It’s truly gorgeous stuff. Thanks again to KittyLovesTea for sharing this with me.

Preparation
Boiling 4 min, 0 sec

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75

A sample from KittyLovesTea! I was a bit concerned about astringency while brewing this one, but I needn’t have really worried. I debated for a few minutes on whether to add milk or not, too, and then decided against. So, this brewed to a medium-brown liquor, and smells exactly like apple cider. It still surprises me how accurately a tea can mimick something else, but there you go. To taste, this is also very reminiscent of apple cider. I get the apple first, and then a swirl of spice — cinnamon and clove predominantly. The two combine beautifully. There is a hint of astringency, but it’s very slight, and the black tea base is pretty unobtrusive. I’m tempted to try what I have left with a small piece of crystal sugar, but it was pretty good all by itself. Probably the best apple tea I’ve tried in a good long while, and one I never thought I’d have the opportunity to try. Thanks again to KittyLovesTea for generously sharing this with me!

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 0 sec

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90

A sample from KittyLovesTea! My first sip of this reminded me of 52Teas Neopolitan Honeybush, which I absolutely adored back when I had some pouts. I think it’s the chocolate/honeybush combination — especially as it’s done here. Somehow, it tastes wonderfully creamy and delicious, and it got me thinking of ice cream almost straightaway. The mint is fairly subtle, but well done. There’s not a hint of toothpaste about this, just the faint flavour and a cooling sensation. The combination is a wonderful one — creamy chocolate, refereshing mint. It would be great in summer, but I don’t think my sample will last that long! Many thanks to KittyLovesTea for sharing this one with me!

Preparation
Boiling 4 min, 0 sec

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50
drank Popcorn Tea by Teapigs
939 tasting notes

Also managed to fit in one of these at work. I’m not sure what the base tea is here, although it’s fairly similar in taste to the Mao Feng I also drank today. I don’t think I’ve ever tried them side by side before, so maybe that’s why I’ve never noticed the similarity. Anyway, the rice here adds a delicious nutty, toasted note. It can verge on the astringent, burnt tasting side if overbrewed, so I was careful to pay attention and was rewarded with a pretty perfect cup of genmaicha. Not something I’d keep around all the time, but definitely nice to revisit!

Preparation
2 min, 30 sec

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25

Drank my two teabags of this at work today. It’s been a busy and fustrating day pretty much in equal measure, so I didn’t get chance to drink a lot. I’m trying to change that — I don’t do myself any favours by becoming dehydrated and headachey — but it all went out of the window with my plans today. Still, I managed two cups of this, so things could be worse. It’s a fairly pleasant green, smooth and very grassy. It’s not the tea I remember from the first time I tried it, but it’s pretty good all the same. Easy to drink, refreshing, and fuss-free because it’s bagged. Just the thing today.

Preparation
180 °F / 82 °C 2 min, 30 sec

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75

Finished off my two sample bags this morning. I still like this, as white teas go. The quality is definitely there, and it has a wonderfully buttery, slightly floral flavour to match. One I’d consider restocking from time to time.

Preparation
175 °F / 79 °C 2 min, 30 sec

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25
drank Wild Berry by Clipper
939 tasting notes

Yesterday and today were days of fairly crappy bagged teas, courtesy of hosting nursing interviews. I’m definitely looking forward to being back at my desk tomorrow. Lipton is the standard fare, and they’re okay, but I was getting a bit tired of those. I tried this one today, but sadly wasn’t all that impressed. It smells gorgeous — a really lovely, fairly accurate berry scent, reminiscent of blackcurrant and maybe raspberry. Brewed, it just tastes like hibiscus, more or less. I wasn’t really expecting anything else, and it’s by no means a bad tea. The flavouring isn’t hopelessly tart, and it’s definitely drinkable. It was a hot drink, at the end of the day, and that’s what I needed more than anything. It gets points for that.

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 3 min, 30 sec

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10

Still no blueberry or cheesecake to declare here, even with more leaf and a longer brew time. Sad face.

Preparation
Boiling 4 min, 30 sec

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Profile

Bio

Hi :) I’m Sarah, 25, and I live in Norwich in the UK. My tea obsession began when a friend introduced me to Teapigs a good few years ago now. Since then, I’ve been insatiable. Steepster introduced me to a world of tea I never knew existed, and my goal is now to TRY ALL THE TEAS. Or most of them, anyway.

I still have a deep rooted (and probably life-long) preference for black tea. My all-time favourite is Assam, but Ceylon and Darjeeling also occupy a place in my heart. Flavoured black tea can be a beautiful thing, and I like a good chai latte in the winter.

I also drink a lot of rooibos/honeybush tea, particularly on an evening. Sometimes they’re the best dessert replacements, too. White teas are a staple in summer — their lightness and delicate nature is something I can always appreciate on a hot day.

I’m still warming up to green teas and oolongs. I don’t think they’ll ever be my favourites, with a few rare exceptions, but I don’t hate them anymore. My experience of these teas is still very much a work-in-progress. I’ve also never really tried pu’erh, and that’s something I’m just starting to explore.

I’m still searching for the perfect fruit tea. One without hibiscus. That actually tastes of fruit.

You’ve probably had enough of me now, so I’m going to shut up. Needless to say, though, I really love tea. Long may the journey continue!

My rating system:

91-100: The Holy Grail. Flawless teas I will never forget.

81-90: Outstanding. Pretty much perfection, and happiness in a cup.

71-80: Amazing. A tea to savour, and one I’ll keep coming back to.

61-70: Very good. The majority of things are as they should be. A pleasing cup.

51-60: Good. Not outstanding, but has merit.

41-50: Average. It’s not horrible, but I’ve definitely had better. There’s probably still something about it I’m not keen on.

31-40: Almost enjoyable, but something about it is not for me.

11-30: Pretty bad. It probably makes me screw my face up when I take a sip, but it’s not completely undrinkable.

0-10: Ugh. No. Never again. To me, undrinkable.

Location

Norwich, UK

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